Pagan Homeschoolers: Curriculum Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome and blessed be Pagan Homeschoolers!

This thread is intended to help us create a homeschool curriculum that is based in paganism.

I have a framework that I use for homeschooling that I will provide as a starting point.

See below post

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#2 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to meet the developmental needs of each child. Each child develops at his/her own pace, using developmentally appropriate practices. The curriculum utilizes authentic assessment tools as well as child led lesson plans.

Curriculum is rooted in play. (1)
Children learn through play, which allows the child to explore the environment freely without direct adult control of the environment. (2) Rather, the environment is designed for each aspect of development and set in learning centers. (3)

The natural world and local community of the child is pivotal in helping the child develop a sense of self as well as being part of the larger, global environment. The child participates in their own culture as well as the multicultural world.

While specific content areas are focused on, they are developed in such a fashion that they are seen as part of the whole child. These areas are:
Math
Science
Social Justice/Social Studies/Multiculturalism
Language, Writing and Reading
Music
Art
Physical Development- Gross and Small Motor Skills
Social/Emotional Development
Cognitive
Sensory Experiences
Health and Safety

Please note that these areas while separated by content, are not learned in a vacuum, they are part of the whole child and are learned in varying combinations of lessons/skills.

While prepackaged curriculum may be purchased, the basis of our curriculum is rooted in Early Childhood Theory that is based in sound scientific research and studies. (4)


Overall, we feel our curriculum is designed to help the child move from isolated, one time experiences, to a coherent intentional plan that capitalizes on the opportunities that emerge each day.

Assessment

The child is assessed using as many authentic tools as possible. (6) The primary form of this is through anecdotal records. (7) At times it may be necessary to assess the child using outside sources in the form of tests or evaluations but these should be limited. The child will collect samples to be included in their portfolio. (8) The child is in control of the content of the portfolio, while the adult may ask to include documents in the
, the child is the one to assess their own growth and development through annual review of their portfolio work. The assessment will be used to help guide lesson plans.

Lesson Plans

Lesson plans will reflect the assessment and interest of the child. (9) Plans may be theme based but should always reflect the interest of the child and their learning objectives. Webbing and KWL (10) will be utilized. While some lessons may be pre-planned, many will be written as a reflection of the days learning activities. The curriculum also guides the lesson plans.







Created by Karen Taverna

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#3 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Most states require that homeschoolers teach basic content, some states have more requirements than others.

Since my children are fairly young, play and exploration are our foundations for learning. I believe their is a place for worksheets and workbooks in the child's day, as learning tools and resources.
I don't want to get bogged down in whether you use a certain math book, or reading program because it will detract from our goal.

Basic respect for the learner is essential and will aide us on our journey.

How should we proceed? My curriculum is pretty open and most anything can be inserted into it.
Once completed it would great to see this developed into a website.

How about a Month by Month curriculum?

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#4 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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#5 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Nice start Aeress Sounds like you are a bit more organized with your hs ... in that you've written all that down I guess . It's very much along the lines of my thoughts on how curriculum ought to be put together though, just have never gelled my thoughts into a statement.

I'll have to do a bit of thinking about HOW deeply I want my Pagan beliefs woven into our learning honestly. Bits DO come up now & again... like with the planets we are getting a chance to learn a bit about quite a few ancient Gods of the Romans and their Greek counterparts

As tolerance of all faiths is very important to me, I am aslo planning to do a bit of a world religions thread through our year as part of our social studies(haven't put this together yet though!) so that my children know a little about what other religions believe so they can be accepting of all people.

Will ponder some more and post again later

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#6 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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#7 of 151 Old 03-09-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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#8 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Awesome!
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#9 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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subbing too. How interesting.

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#10 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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Mine is a mixture of pagan/nature based and UU.

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#11 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would think a nature based curriculum, following the wheel of the year, would be an easy way to begin.

Many parents and teachers find seasonal or month by month curriculums easy to use and implement.

Please add your ideas. I am happy to organize resources and projects into a wheel of the year curriculum. Wait, I like that---what do you think?

The Wheel of the Year, Curriculum for Pagan Homeschooling Families?

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#12 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Not to rain on the pagan parade but is there way to make it more "Earth Based Spirituality/Nature Based" than outright pagan?

I only say that because when reporting the curriculum (etc) I use to the school department, I don't want it to say pagan. My town would sic the buffoons on me for that. (I'm not kidding)

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#13 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DOK- I am ok with calling Earth based.

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#14 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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Subbing.

Personally though I love Wheel of the Year!

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#15 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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We are actually half-way through using a homemade Wheel of the Year calender as a focus for learning activities for preschoolers (age 3, 5, and just turned 6).

Just got interrupted. Will be back to edit this post with more details.

Ok, here is the standard calendar set I've been using for years with my own and home daycare children of toddler-early elementary years. Boring. But this is what time looks like for most early childhood/elementary kids.

Last September, the older preschoolers and I made a Wheel of the Year calendar, which involved writing practice, circle geometry, lots of learning. Here is a closeup

This is the Wheel calendar after 6 months (faded, now!). I am already planning to add more for next year -- photos of seasonal changes in our garden, more tags for religious holidays of other faiths, and definitely the moon phases and cross-quarter Pagan holidays. I think the children will learn a lot where holidays cluster, such as on Feb 2, which has Pagan, Catholic, and secular meaning (Groundhog's Day).

We have talked about the origins of the days of the week, and next year I'll use this as a springboard for Scandinavian mythology, I think.

I still haven't figured out what to put in the white space, so I will probably make that smaller with the next one.

I was thinking about making a reusable felt version, but, honestly, I think the kids get more value out of having made it themselves -- they "own" this calendar.

Editing again because I wanted to make clear that I am using both the preschool month calendar and the Wheel calender in conjunction. We do a calendar time together at the start of each month, switch over the numbers/holidays on the monthly calender and update our Wheel at the same time. Lots of earth/spirituality/ world religion activities have come out of the focus on holidays, especially the Winter Solstice, Day of the Dead, and Chinese New Year. I can see this approach working very well for older kids who are ready for more sophisticated materials.

I think using the two calenders together helps the children understand that there are different models for representing the same thing (time) and that different models do different things well. I'd love to have more calendars and timelines to juxtapose with these. We talked about the 12 year Chinese Zodiac cycle, for example. And with older children, timelines would be interesting -- it is 4706 in the Chinese calender, 2010 in the western one. Why the difference? etc.
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#16 of 151 Old 03-10-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
Not to rain on the pagan parade but is there way to make it more "Earth Based Spirituality/Nature Based" than outright pagan?

I only say that because when reporting the curriculum (etc) I use to the school department, I don't want it to say pagan. My town would sic the buffoons on me for that. (I'm not kidding)
Isn't it absurd how one little word will freak 'them' out? Not that leaving said word out changes what's IN the curriculum one little bit (and we dont' mind you raining on our parade.. I like rain hehe)

I like the month by month idea... makes it especially convenient for those of us down under to 'rearrange' things to fit our seasons. I found with Oak Meadow, that I had to rework the entire curriculum by flagging the pages with 'start of spring stuff.. use septemberish'. Or we could even go with 'The months of Spring' and a subline with the months for each hemisphere?

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#17 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Aubergine- that is great. Can I add it to the curriculum? If you pm me I will be able to give you credit


I could very easily do a Infant/Toddler and Preschoool section if people are interested.

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#18 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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Oh, yay! I'm so glad to see this thread here.

We have an eclectically pagan, nature-based spirituality, but I still consider our homeschool "secular" because I'm not actively "teaching" her a certain path.

We study comparative religions and altars of many faiths; we meditate. I don't guide her belief system. She believes in reincarnation and fairies, and all of this comes into our learning time, tho I'm not promoting one or another path to her.

My girl has big respect for Buddha and often asks what Buddha would have liked or done or eaten; she is very thoughtful about it. She is all about the gods and goddesses or Greek/Roman pantheon, and was PSYCHED to learn to write GAEA in Greek (the cutest thing I've ever seen in her little kid scrawl).

Being peaceful and honoring the earth are very important to us. So I'm taking an environmentalist (and feminist because I have a GIRL who deserves to have heroines) slant as I am picking out biographies, etc.

For now the most actively pagan homeschool thing that we do is mark the moon phases, talk about the names of the full moons and celebrate both the new and full moons--usually with some sort of "witch school" thing (she digs this) like really simple divination, etc. on the new moons and then mostly just giving a lot of gratitude and counting our blessing with the full moons.

I kind of suck about celebrating festivals. I'm working on that. I'd like to be a lot more prepared and have it together; but somehow they always creep up on me. So we haven't done a lot for Equinoxes/Solstices, but I'll get there!

I have a great book, "Pagan Homeschooling" that I like a lot. We also read "Earth Prayers" every morning, and I'd like to get more active into having morning "devotions" (to borrow a term from the Christian way) where we read some wise books and write or talk about our prayers and blessings.

So yeah! Great idea for a thread!

btw, have any of you heard of/tried "Curriculum of Love"? I am curious about it as I've been trying to build up resources to promote peace/spirituality in our school and keep seeing the name come up but haven't heard any first-hand reviews.

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#19 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have curriculum of Love but pan to start with it this Fall. It looks really good.

Craft-media-hero- I will add those books to a resource list

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#20 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Aeress, this is really good

Trust the Children by Anna Kealoha, and Earth Child by Katheryn Sheehan and Mary Waidner are two books that have lots of activities and information.

Not coherent enough yet this a.m. to post more...
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#21 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Hi Aeress and all the Pagan mamas I've missed so much (I will go post in the spirituality forum, hopefully this afternoon).

I am feeling pulled towards homeschooling and yet I guess I am a little scared of the unknown...DH is worried about socialization of course but he is a pretty open guy - I'm the research one.

Anyways, having a 2.5 year old, I would LOVE information about pre-school/infant/toddler curriculum! I've been searching and doing what I can come up with.

*hugs to all*

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#22 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I already have a curriculum that I really enjoy, but I am looking to add Wheel of the Year information into our daily lives!

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#23 of 151 Old 03-11-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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#24 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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My DH feels very strongly that science would need to be an integral part of the curriculum, and while I agree with him, how to do that while keeping the wonder of it all, e.g. the moon phases, what happens scientifically and spiritually? Any thoughts?

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#25 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm out here too.

Not sure I would really want a religious curriculum, but obviously love incorporate some of the basic beliefs into it.

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#26 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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So what is the goal of a pagan curriculum?

I am personally more interested in presenting my children with information about a range of religious and spiritual beliefs than in raising them to believe what I believe. I'm not hearing anyone on this thread say anything different, though if anyone out there has a different point of view, I'd love to hear more about it.

It *is* important to me to raise my kids with a strong awareness of nature and ecology, and the spiritual and physical benefits of living "green" and being outdoors as much as possible.

From a scientific point of view, I'd say maybe that we evolved as a species on this earth and that awareness of and time spent with the rhythms and cycles of nature are essential to our well-being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by witchygrrl View Post
My DH feels very strongly that science would need to be an integral part of the curriculum, and while I agree with him, how to do that while keeping the wonder of it all, e.g. the moon phases, what happens scientifically and spiritually? Any thoughts?
I will be homeschooling my oldest for grade 7 -- first time homeschooling an older child.

I expect that we will be using a good secular science curriculum alongside some history-of-science-and-scientists material (if we need to supplement, if the main curriculum doesn't have this.)

I am personally interested in the religious/spiritual beliefs of important scientists, both past and present. And in the way religions and cultures of the present and past supported or hindered the work of science. Hope my daughter is too, and that we can link the secular science curriculum to the pagan /spiritual curriculum through this kind of study.
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#27 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOLAGYmUQV0

I think the above video shows just what is being discussed. I believe science is wonderous and magical and beautiful. We use the scientific approach to explore a multitude of topics and ideas and the girls are used to mommy saying, what do you think will happen, what is your theory, hypothesis etc.



The questions was "what is the purpose?"
I think for some families, pulling together a curriculum can be very daunting- so they look for a boxed curriculum and for various reasons, being it too academic, religious etc- they decide that the curriculum doesn't work.( For me, I love pulling things together and creating a unique program that works for each individual child. It is almost a hobby)
So, a pagan curriculum that was boxed together, would be beneficial. FOr the purpose of this discussion, I don't think it would be feasible to do a "boxed" curriculum but we could compile all of the elements that could become a boxed curriculum.

Is this making sense? Honestly, I can't do anything today without being interrupted.

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#28 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Thanks for the link, Karen!

I think you are making total sense

I'd also like to get recommendations for secular/ pagan-friendly curriculum that people are currently using, especially for non-core subjects. What is this curriculum that you love, Autumn?

What is this Curriculum of Love ?
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#29 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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subbing as well

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#30 of 151 Old 03-12-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
So what is the goal of a pagan curriculum?

I am personally more interested in presenting my children with information about a range of religious and spiritual beliefs than in raising them to believe what I believe. I'm not hearing anyone on this thread say anything different, though if anyone out there has a different point of view, I'd love to hear more about it.

It *is* important to me to raise my kids with a strong awareness of nature and ecology, and the spiritual and physical benefits of living "green" and being outdoors as much as possible.

From a scientific point of view, I'd say maybe that we evolved as a species on this earth and that awareness of and time spent with the rhythms and cycles of nature are essential to our well-being.



I will be homeschooling my oldest for grade 7 -- first time homeschooling an older child.

I expect that we will be using a good secular science curriculum alongside some history-of-science-and-scientists material (if we need to supplement, if the main curriculum doesn't have this.)

I am personally interested in the religious/spiritual beliefs of important scientists, both past and present. And in the way religions and cultures of the present and past supported or hindered the work of science. Hope my daughter is too, and that we can link the secular science curriculum to the pagan /spiritual curriculum through this kind of study.
What is the goal - for me & what I see as the needs of my family/kids, its a blend of spirtual, and the scientific to help round out what my kids will be reciving in their PS education. The ideas of the phases of the moon, and rhythms of the day/night for me help to connect me & the kids to the earth and how we are apart of it and how we have to be mindful of our actions with her.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOLAGYmUQV0

I think the above video shows just what is being discussed. I believe science is wonderous and magical and beautiful. We use the scientific approach to explore a multitude of topics and ideas and the girls are used to mommy saying, what do you think will happen, what is your theory, hypothesis etc.



The questions was "what is the purpose?"
I think for some families, pulling together a curriculum can be very daunting- so they look for a boxed curriculum and for various reasons, being it too academic, religious etc- they decide that the curriculum doesn't work.( For me, I love pulling things together and creating a unique program that works for each individual child. It is almost a hobby)
So, a pagan curriculum that was boxed together, would be beneficial. FOr the purpose of this discussion, I don't think it would be feasible to do a "boxed" curriculum but we could compile all of the elements that could become a boxed curriculum.

Is this making sense? Honestly, I can't do anything today without being interrupted.
that video, I'm going to bookmark it at home so I can have the kiddos watch it.
You are making sense - like I said above, mine intent is supplement and round out the general education my kiddos are getting in PS, but to continue to foster their wonder and curiousity (sp?) in the world. Someone mentioned the wheel of the year idea or seasonal based all of which I would be in favor of as that's when typically questions come up and then I'm struggling to address them for my kids quickly or locking myself away with the computer googling until I find something acceptable. If all the elements of a curriculum were available and it was one i liked - that is a win/win for us.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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